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THE HISTORY CHANNEL
June 2, 2011
Another attack of jet lag today. I had fallen asleep early, so woke up around midnight and ended up writing letters until 3. Then when watching CNN didn't put me to sleep, I fell asleep watching The Mentalist (which I had recorded while we were away).
When I finally woke up around 5, I started writing letters. By 10, I had accumulated quite a pile.
This included a letter to my soldier, Amanda, letters to all but one of my Compassion kids (along with post cards from China) and a complaint letter to McDonald's about my anemic iced mocha yesterdday. Hell hath no fury like a woman deprived of her iced mocha! (I'll bet this is the first complaint letter the manager of that McDonald's has ever received!)
Walt went downtown around 10 and I decided to sit and take a nap. It was 2-3 hours later when I woke up, totally disoriented because I thought I was waking up in the morning after a night of sleep, not mid-day after a nap! God, I hope this thing passes soon.
But anyway, when I woke up a History Channel special on Abraham Lincoln was just beginning--a 3 hour long special, as it turns out. Absolutely fascinating show. If it comes on again (and it surely will, since the History channel runs things endlessly), try to catch it.
(I can only assume the photo at the right was taken when he was a young man, without anybody to give him feedback on his hair!)
The thing that struck me so forcibly is that if you ask anybody in this country who was our greatest president, an overwhelming majority will say Lincoln. Yet, history shows that he was a real loser as a young man, and not all that popular when he was in office. He suffered from great depression and was suicidal at one point. And in today's sexually-conscious society, there would be little question that having slept in the same bed with another man for five years and plunged into depression when they separated, there was little question about his orientation (though the authors like Gore Vidal and others assure that sensibilities and customs were different in those days).
I smiled when I heard about his first debate, where people were turned off by his voice. I remember when I first met future US Representative Ron Dellums, elected for his anti-Vietnam War stance, and later mayor of Oakland. We went to a Dellums fund raiser. I had seen him many times on TV and always imagined that he would speak with the stentorian tones of James Earl Jones or Sidney Poitier.
Imagine my surprise when he had this high-pitched kind of whiney voice. He was a lovely man, but he was no Darth Vader!
Apparently that was Lincoln. A mid-western twang in a higher-pitched voice that people made fun of when he spoke. No Walter Huston, Raymond Massey, John Carradine, F. Murray Abraham or Hal Holbrook (some of the 17 actors who have played the president).
The information about Lincoln in this 3-hour program actually kept me awake (so difficult to do these days). It was followed by a program which lays out proofs for the theory that John Wilkes Booth was not killed after the Lincoln assassination, but got away and lived out a free life until he died of natural causes (well, I think it was natural causes...we had a TV glitch and I missed the end of the show). Lots of documentation and photos to prove that Booth got away with it. I have no idea how credible all that evidence is. They are trying to do DNA analysis but have been denied access by the federal government. It's the Grassy Knoll conspiracy theory all over again,but with better documentation.
So my day has been intermittently filled with history and I was so glad to have it topped off by Sarah Palin explaining Paul Revere's ride in Boston:
History lesson from Sarah Palin. I don't expect it to be on the History Channel any time soon.
I hope she hasn't home-schooled her children.
PHOTO OF THE DAY